Vintage Project Layout: Applique Butterflies

The past several days brought the Vintage Applique Butterfly quilt started by my Great-grandmother, Mina Opal, to a completed top.

As I picked apart the previous setting, I noticed that there were 6 blocks where the butterflies were straight on the block and 48 blocks where they were angled.  Considering the care and attention to detail in the work generally, I was certain that was not an accident.  But, why?


Research revealed that that there is a layout for 54 blocks that has a six block center–a medallion!


After that the process went relatively quickly. I created a six block medallion and surrounded it with three part sashing, placing a nine-patch in the corners.  Most quilts in this style used either a single wide piece of sashing or additional background material, but I liked this look. Around and around we go!


Three layers plus a wide outer border of muslin as close as I could get to that in the background of the blocks.  It is lighter, but the texture is right and I think after quilting it won’t be too obvious.


I am preparing to scallop that outer border when it gets back from the quilter and marked a rough draft version to guide her work.  Yes, this quilt is being sent out.  It deserves the best, so I am giving it that chance.


Won’t my mother be surprised when she sees it again!


21 thoughts on “Vintage Project Layout: Applique Butterflies

  1. Oh Deanna, this is beautiful. I think your mother will be so happy.
    You really did work out a lovely lay out and the blue and yellow is perfect for the borders – sunshine and blue sky

  2. You breathed new life into these butterflies! A true “metamorphosis”. I love the nine patch posts and the sashings and borders. Can’t wait to see what the quilter does with it. You should be proud of your work and vision. And I know your Momma is going to love this.

  3. What a lovely idea. I think I will use this one when I do a butterfly quilt for our granddaughter. I am saving a picture in my folder of quilt ideas to remind me how to do it. Loisjean

  4. Have you considered doing a tutorial on making a scallop border and preparing the binding? The quilt is awesome.

  5. She will be happy, but surprised? I expect she knew you’d find the perfect way to use those blocks! It is beautiful with this setting and the scallops will be a wonderful edging, but a pain to bind. =)

  6. How awesome to have the generational ties and intertwining of family in this beautiful butterfly quilt . A family heirloom to cherish! Great job!

  7. I love this quilt and have been wanting to do one similar for a long time. Would you be so kind as to post some details? The butterfly that I came up with for the shape of yours would fit nicely on a 15 inch block. But that seems so big! How big are the blocks in your quilt. I finally made an 8 inch finished block with a butterfly that has two sections to the wings….but I still like yours better!

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